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Burnt Island Light

Burnt Island Light
Photo Courtesy of United States Coast Guard

LIGHTHOUSE HISTORY

Burnt Island light is an active U. S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. The light was built in 1821 and is the second oldest surviving lighthouse in Maine.  It hosts a living history museum run by the state Department of Marine Resources.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Burnt Island Light Station on November 23, 1977.

In 1821 a granite rubble tower lined with brick was erected along with a stone keeper's house and later that summer the first light was exhibited using a system of whale oil lamps and parabolic reflectors, which was typical of the time.  The original keeper's house was replaced in 1857 with the frame house that survives today; a covered walkway joined the house and tower.   At the same time a fourth order Fresnel lens was installed, the first of many changes in the lighting and characteristics of the beacon.

VISIT BURNT ISLAND LIGHT

Burnt Island is a beautiful five-acre island owned by the Maine Department of Marine Resources.  It is approximately one mile from the post of Boothbay Harbor.   The historic buildings at the active lighthouse station have been carefully restored and transformed into an exceptionally fine educational facility and offers numerous recreational opportunities for families; from exploring the nooks and crannies of the five-acre island to catching a striped bass.  Recreational boaters stop by for a break or enjoy a picnic lunch near the scenic shoreline.

A trip to Burnt Island is like a step back in time. Guests share the life experiences of the former keeper John Muise and his family dressed in period clothing. 

If you are visiting and do not have a boat, you can visit the Island and lighthouse by one of the cruises from downtown Boothbay Harbor.